Do you suffer from daytime sleepiness or wake up with a terrible headache even if you slept enough? These symptoms could indicate a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a very common issue and affects millions of Americans annually. It often goes undiagnosed because people are unaware of the disease or do not get a timely checkup. If the symptoms of sleep apnea worse, they may put your health at risk.
Therefore it is important to understand the possible risk factors, symptoms, and treatment measures of sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing stops temporarily during sleep. The breathing pauses during sleep can range from a few seconds to a minute. It can disrupt the quality of your sleep, resulting in daytime sleepiness and mood changes.
Among its types, the most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the muscles in the back of your throat relax during sleep, causing a temporary airway blockage. It may occur up to 400 times throughout the night, but often you may remain unaware of it.
How Can I Tell If I Have Sleep Apnea?
Although sleep apnea can present with variable symptoms, certain warning signs can indicate if you may be suffering from it. These include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up with a gasp or choking sound
- Waking up with a morning headache
- Restlessness during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty in paying focus during awake hours
- Mood swings or irritability
- Behavioral changes
The presence of one or more symptoms may hint toward sleep apnea, but you will need a consultation with a sleep specialist to receive a definitive diagnosis.
Who Is At Risk of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect people at any age, but the risk may increase as you get older. Apart from aging, certain other factors may put you at risk of sleep apnea, which include:
- High blood pressure
- Chronic alcohol intake
- Use of sedatives
- Anatomical abnormalities with nose, throat, or neck
What Are The Health Concerns Associated with Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea not only affects your sleep and mental health but can also have serious physical manifestations. Since it deprives the airflow during sleep, it causes reduced oxygen supply to your body tissues.
The presence of sleep apnea may worsen your health if you already suffer from certain medical conditions. If it is left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk for:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
What Are The Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?
There are many ways to treat sleep apnea, depending on the severity of your condition. Many sleep specialists recommend Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. Although it is quite effective, it can be difficult to comply with and may cause certain side effects.
In contrast, our Champions Dental offers a convenient solution for sleep apnea through an oral appliance. This appliance positions your mandible forward during sleep, preventing airway collapse. By reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea, this appliance greatly helps to improve your sleep quality.
If you or your partner are suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, contact us at (281) 866-0442 to schedule a consultation.